Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Less Thinking, More Doing Required

It's hard to rebuild old habits.

For over seven years straight I faithfully put fingers to keyboard on a regular basis, then with this past year of "other commitments" that wonderful habit was destroyed. Oh, on occasion I'd wander back into my dream world of writing, editing, planning, even going so far as to believe that I was back in the game, but inevitably the next big thing on the Family List of to-do's sucked me away again. I guess there's something to be said for reaching that empty pocket mode--no money to spend=more time to write.

My problem now, however, is that during this past year while my fingers couldn't be tapping, I got very used to "dreaming" or "thinking fiction" to fulfill that creative need in me. Now I have to re-train myself to once again multitask while being creative. I need to get those thoughts into a document now.

After much deliberation of what writerly thing to work on first, I decided to edit one of my favorite stories. I wrote this story during Nanowrimo in 2009. And although I remember a synopsis version of the story, I can't remember it scene by scene. My challenge to myself this week is to create a scene-by-scene run-down of this story to spot weaknesses in the plot, characters, and story telling.

For each scene I'm logging the following:

POV Character

One-line title for the scene

What is introduced in this scene (ie. any new characters, new setting)

What is revealed in this scene (ie. required backstory, new plot element)

The Goal (whether it's a scene goal or story goal)

What is the setting

What is the conflict

Movement --Can I see this scene acted out as I read, or can it be caught in a snapshot, perhaps of someone thinking like the cartoon above depicts?

Character--What does this scene reveal about the character(s)?

Senses--Which are missing? Sight, Smell, Sound, Touch, Taste, Feel (I add this sixth one as a way of keeping track of elements of spirituality and emotions being present--internal feelings)

The point of all this is to refamiliarize myself with the story as well as pointing out my next steps with respect to editing it?

Question for you: Would you add anything else to this list?

Till next time, may blessings surround you, and write on...

Surrendering to Him,

Monday, March 28, 2011

Time to Start Over!

Soul searching has led me here. I gave writing a rest for the most part this past year in order to accomplish: 1) House renovations.

2) To find Donner (Donner is our 1400 lb equine friend, sports partner to my girls, and family member now. He arrived on Dec. 18, 2010 after five long months of searching!)

and 3)Plan, implement, and thoroughly enjoy a family vacation of a lifetime in Maui.

With those all accomplished, it's now time to lift my writing to its once again rightful place on my priority list. That being a true third in command without so many extra time-consuming sub-priorities under Family anymore. God first, Family second, Writing third. As such, I find myself in need once more of a critique group.

Not only are critique partners wonderful with helping you improve your writing, but they help you keep on track with your writing goals, too. So, anyone know of someone who writes inspirational romances, is in want of a critique partner, serious about learning the writing craft, and is willing to do a trial time with me to see if we're a good fit? If so, please do let me know.

I'm praying over this post!

Till next time, may blessings wrap around you, and write on...

Surrendering to Him, Eileen

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hawaii Introduced Me To A New Series--But it's not CBA.

First, a little trip down memory lane. We recently returned from a family vacation in Maui.

The plumeria flower is so beautiful, I just had to take a close-up of it. Every time I look at this picture I see my girls as they were in Maui. Each wearing a plumeria clip proudly in their hair, smiling more often than I have ever seen them do, and even giggling more too. I want to go back!

Notice those hair clips on our girls?

Wouldn't it have been marvelous if one of the many humpback whales that play so often in this water would have breached just as the photo was taken? If you look carefully though, dead center in the background, just before the next island comes into view, you can see a spot of spray from one. We loved to sit out on our lanai each morning and watch them show their stuff. It was literally a humpback whales playground out in this part of the ocean while we were there. Such a gift to see!

Okay, these are just palm trees, BUT, these are special ones! At least to me they are. These are fuzzy ones! Notice how full they are? They had far more layers of spikes than the average palm did. Can anyone familiar with palm trees tell me what variety these are, or are they just young ones? How I wish I could grow a garden beneath these magnificent palms in my own back yard. And now I look out and see the foot of snow covering our ground and know that will never be. All the more reason to get myself back to Hawaii then, right! Oh, please!

Okay, back to reality time. Now onto the real reason why I'm posting today--I want to share news about a book series that I really love. Now if you're the type to only read CBA material, then you might want to skip the rest of this post, because Emily March's new Eternity Springs series isn't technically CBA, but it sure does have Christian faith parts within it, and that's one of the reasons I'm so drawn to it.

On our last day in Hawaii we stopped into a book store and I discovered Angel's Rest sitting lonely on a cardboard stand with books from a totally different genre. Someone had obviously taken a peak, then dropped it on their tracks to the exit, and I'm so very glad they did! Their loss is my wonderful gain.

Since reading Angel's Rest I snagged the second novel, Hummingbird Lake, in the series a day before the actual release date at Chapters and have finished it, too. Can't wait for April's release of the third installment in the series, Heartache Falls. Which, from the excerpt in the back of Hummingbird Lake I suspect will be the most meaningful for me as the empty nest syndrome draws near. With our oldest heading for University in the fall, and our youngest jumping into high school as our never-meant-to-be-lost-in-the-middle daughter begins her eleventh grade I'm sure I'll be able to relate to Ali Timberlake in many ways. I'm really excited about reading this next one. Maybe it'll help me prepare for what's ahead and build more romance into my marriage too!

So, here's the link to for a peak at this series.
Use the click to look inside option to see if you like Emily March's writing as much as I do!

Till next time, keep healthy, be happy, and write on...

Surrendering to Him,